Fine George III Mahogany Armchair, Attributed to Gillows
A superb quality, late George III period mahogany open armchair, of rare and elegant design, attributed to Gillows of Lancaster and London
English, c. 1800
Designed in the French antique style, having a curved and panelled tablet crest rail, veneered in figured mahogany and ebony crossbanded, above a shaped X-form splat, centred by an oval patera, flanked by the downswept finely reeded arms ending in paterae and supported by the stylized curved and reeded 'cornucopiae' or horns-of-plenty; above a traditionally upholstered, hand-stitched horsehair stuffed seat, covered in superb horsehair fabric, the whole raised on elegant turned and finely reeded tapering fore legs and well splayed sabre-shaped back supports.
Stamped with the journeyman’s initials BT to back seat rail, which may refer to Thomas Bradley, Gillows chair-maker of the period, who amongst other commissions, made the Glynlliffon chairs (see S.Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840, Suffolk, 2008, Vol.II, p.221). Seatrails with batten-carrying holes; one rail has indistinct pencil inscription under upholstery, a common feature of Gillows chairs. The same stamp also appears on armchairs made for the youngest daughter of George III, Princess Amelia, later in the Royal Pavilion, Brighton. See Margaret Jourdain, Regency Furniture 1795-1830, Country Life Limited: London, 1965, p. 46, fig. 69.
The chair-back pattern, with X-shaped splat centered by a patera, was introduced around 1800 and features in Thomas Hope's design of a hollow-seated chair with Grecian-srolled feet issued in his Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807 (pl. 11). It was later adopted by Gillows of London and Lancaster.
Superb quality, fine timber and carving throughout, great colour and wonderful patination. Remarkably original untouched condition, almost free of historic damage and repairs.
For a related pair see Christie’s, London, 10 July 2003, Lot 83 (£40,650).